Thursday, January 21, 2010

Battle of the Stats: Haste vs Crit

While not nearly as epic of a battle as the impending Vikings/Colts Super Bowl is gonna be (sorry, I had to do it)... it's time to see which is more popular for priests... haste, or crit.

Today, bored beyond belief while spending hours in a hospital waiting room at obscene hours of the morning, I had the opportunity to catch up on many of the forums/blogs out there that I have been missing out on over the last few months.

One of the hot topics that I have seen on many of these forums and blogs, especially in regards to Priests, is the seemingly endless debate about which stat is "better"... Haste, or Crit.

First off, a disclaimer: I am not about to go and say that either stat is "best" for a spec/class, or that people who do not choose to gear the same way that I do are "noobs" and need to "L2Gear." People thinking that the way they do something is the only way to do something and anyone who thinks or does otherwise is stupid, seems incredibly closed minded to me. This age of WoW is not the age of Sunwell Plateu or Vanilla Naxx, and while there may be math and theorycrafting to "support" why a stat may or may not be slightly better than another, this type of micromanaging simply isn't required for WoW in this day and age... even if you're raiding hard-modes. Don't misunderstand me... there are ways of gearing that are bad, like a Priest gemming Strength or AP. My point is, that if something works for you, and your raid isn't getting pwned and the bosses you're going after are falling over... chances are you're doing something right... regardless of the math and theorycrafting that may or may not directly support something you choose to do.

Keep in mind that the problem with theorycrafting vs actually testing something yourself is that while theorycrafting, most people do not factor in individual aspects of boss fights. Things like having to move out of the Giant Big, or kite a giant slime... or having to switch to raid heals while a druid battle rezzes etc. are simply not things that most folks think about when trying to theorycraft. This is the problem with strictly going by the math as well. Most of the time when things like this are calculated strictly by "going by the numbers" it assumes that the situation is always optimal.... and we all know the situation is rarely optimal.

The post in question that spawned this whole tirade, was a post about someone going for straight haste and having 1100 haste. It was on the WoW Priest forums, and can be located here. The second response to the OP, in its entirety was simply someone typing the word: "BAD". This is the exact type of attitude that I'm referring to above. The poster obviously doesn't agree that extreme haste is a good way to go, but instead of giving helpful or useful feedback to support why he/she may think that way, or help answer the OP's question... they simply type "BAD."

This is not what this post is about. I have a very specific goal in mind in terms of my gear, and I am simply curious to see what other priests out there are doing with their gear, and why they go that route. I know there are many ways to play a Priest, and with those many ways of playing also comes many ways of gearing. I'm also simply curious about which stat is more popular amongst priests.

Personally, I prefer crit over haste being Discipline specc'ed. While I do feel that Haste is a very important stat, when it comes down to Crit and Haste being the sole deciding factor on a piece of gear, the piece that favors Crit is likely to win out.

My reasons for this are mainly due to the Divine Aegis talent, where the more I crit, the more damage I mitigate. Divine Aegis also stacks, which also benefits from multiple crits. Having 3/3 in Imp. Flash heal also adds an additional 15% chance to crit when your target is below 50% hp, along with 5/5 in Holy Specialization adds another 5% chance to crit. When raid buffed, my Crit % for heals is sitting at ~45%, and 60% on my FH if the target's below half hp. Believe me... when the target is below 50% hp, it's a nice time to snag a crit. Gaining crits in those types of situations also saves mana, because many times I end up not having to cast more than once to get them back to full.

Crit, along with the PW:S glyph, also greatly helps out when having to play the "mobile healer" and having to heal while on the run. I've seen the PW:S glyph crit for 4k, which is nothing to sneeze at for being an instant heal I can cast while running. This "heal" also does not directly benefit from haste due to the Weakened Soul debuff preventing from casting another shield on the same target.

Haste is still a favored stat, but it isn't something that I gem for. I do however try to get as many pieces with both haste and crit on it as I possibly can, but I try to shy away from pieces with strictly haste unless the other stats on it make it a clear upgrade in other areas. I will however take a piece with haste and no crit if it doesn't have Spirit. Like I've posted before, I feel that Spirit, for a Disc priest, is a complete waste of a stat when it comes to any gear above Nax, making Haste a much better option.

I also keep haste pieces of gear around for the times when I'm required to spec Holy. I view Haste for Holy the way I view Crit for Disc. They're both good, but for Holy, I see Haste as more important.

So, for me... Crit > Haste, with Haste still being very important for Disc, and Vice Versa for Holy.


  1. From what I understand from my limited knowledge of "math" and applying that to what Elitist Jerks says... disc priests should not be haste capped. Ideally, you'll be casting bubbles like there's no tomorrow, and more often than not be under the borrowed time buff, which is 25% haste. See

    "For a Disc priest, you gain 6% from Enlightenment, and an additional 5% from Wrath of Air, plus 3% from Swift Retribution/Moonkin Aura, leaving you with only 4.67% or 154 haste rating to gain from gear to reach the hard GCD cap on PW:S (given Borrowed Time)."
    "Pick up haste up to ~ 11% (hard-cap). Absolutely do not stack more."

    But I can type "BAD" if you'd like :P

  2. @Crankyhealer

    This is why I personlly don't read Elitist Jerks religiously, or view the ideas posted there as the single "right" way to do things.

    The 11% "hard cap" this post refers to is the GCD hard-cap... meaning that once you get there, the GCD will not benefit. Your cast-times will still continue to benefit from haste, even after you hit the GCD hard-cap.

    If the *only* thing you ever cast is PW:S and other instants... then you're right... there is never any reason at all to ever have more haste than that.

    If you're a MT healer though (which you should be, at least some of the time if you're Disc), chances are that you'll be casting other spells as well. Disc has this little gem called Penance, that still benefits from Haste, even after the GCD cap is reached. Also, the WS debuff prevents you from spamming PW:S on the MT, so you'll be forced to cast a Flash heal here and there, sometimes even without the haste benefit of Borrowed time, because Borrowed Time only benefits the single next spell after you use PW:S. You're not able to always cast PW:S in between every other cast, so while the talent is nice, it should not always assume it's up for every single cast.

    For Example. Currently, I have 568 unbuffed spell haste which is 17.34%. Now, I'm an artist, not a math person, but during a raid, *without* borrowed time, my FH cast time is still 1.1 seconds, which means it's still not bottlenecked yet by the GCD. This means that I *am* still gaining a benefit from spell haste, even though I have far more than the 154 needed to hit the GCD hard cap.

    This is all haste I'm picking up without even specifically going for it. I did not bother to read all the comments to that EJ post to see all the reasoning behind the argument, but like I said from the original post... I go with what I see in-game, and from what I'm seeing... there still *is* a benefit to gaining haste after the 11% GCD cap, even though according to EJ, you should *never* go over that.

    PoH is also a spell that greatly benefits from Haste as Disc. It all depends on what specific role you fill while healing during a raid. Every raid is different, and every healer is different. If you raid with a raid healer that never requires you to do any sort of AoE heal whatsoever, then a 2.4 sec PoH may be fine for you. Others, like myself, who finds themselves casting PoH quite often during some fights prefers the 2 sec PoH, and sub 2 secs when BT is up.

    It all comes down to what you're healing, and who you're healing with. Not all players, priests and raids are created equal, which may require you to heal in a different way.

    Good luck not going over that 11% with gear available today.

  3. I hear ya. I tend to stack more by "feel" on the haste issue. When I am disc I also rarely cast gheal, sticking mostly to fheal and penance (aside from bubbles), with the occasional POH, though I try to time that after the bubble for borrowed time.

    There are some more good resources out there but the computer won't let me paste links into this field (noooes). So I have to type them out. The horror.

    Maybe you know this already. Maybe you don't. But I'll share anyway. and look for his priest theorycrafting for 3.3 post. The last page has the relative stat weights of everything for holy & disc. He also has a good disc gear list post 3.3. also has a L2Discipline series that talks about gearing. has "a graduate level review of disciplinary statistics" that also discusses this.

  4. All good resources, thanks for posting the links.

  5. Late to the party... sorry!

    Have a look here for Zusterke's great article on crit vs. Haste for disc priests. It's a keeper.