A Gear Post

I haven’t really spoken a lot about holy paladin gear of late. I think, actually, that the last post I wrote about it had to do with me stacking mastery to see how it would work out.

The Great Mastery Stacking Experiment lasted approximately two and a half weeks.

The whole reason I stacked mastery was because, due to various upgrades I had gotten, there was no way I could continue to stack intellect gems and still hit my ~1860 haste breakpoint to give me that 14th tick of Holy Radiance, given Judgements of the Pure being active, 3/3 Speed of Light (for 3% extra haste) and the 5% haste buff that can be gotten through a moonkin’s aura, a shadow priest’s aura or a shaman’s Wrath of Air totem.

Plus, there was a lot of chatter going on about mastery at the time.

So I reforged, regemmed and re-enchanted all of my gear to mastery. My gems were Artful Ember Topaz (20 int/20 mastery) and the only spot I didn’t have mastery were my boots, because I didn’t want to waste guild bank funds for Lavawalker for a mere 35 mastery rating.

It worked okay. I saw a distinct difference in terms of what I was capable of doing and I saw differences in tank squishiness. I do spend a LOT of my time just healing my tank(s), so why not, right?

However, as soon as I was able to hit my breakpoint again, thanks to more upgrades, I swapped everything back to full intellect gems, reforging to spirit and haste once again.

I did this for two major reasons:

1) I didn’t like the slow casts. While my (much beefier) mastery bubbles were doing okay at preventing tank deaths .5 seconds before my cast would finish, it felt as though I was casting through molasses. It was intolerable for me and it wasn’t something I ever got used to doing in the ~2.5 weeks I was stacking mastery.

2) The knowledge that I wasn’t able to help out with raid healing as much (and I don’t do a whole lot of it as it was or even is) was disheartening. I just didn’t like being pigeon-holed into a tank healing only role, which is hilarious, because THAT’S WHAT I DO.

But go figure, I suddenly felt as though stacking mastery was gimping me beyond what I was comfortable with and I didn’t feel a huge help from the mastery. It helped now and again, sure, but I didn’t feel as though what I was getting from mastery was at all worth all the intellect, spirit, haste and versatility that I was giving up.

So I went back to spirit and haste.

I got my T12 4pc a few weeks ago. It wasn’t my preferred four pieces, mind you.

In my T12 gear post, I had seen a problem. If one goes for the 4pc bonus, which piece should be the offset piece?

I had concluded that the gloves should be the offset piece, electing to pick up the Grips of the Raging Giant from Lord Rhyolith, primarily because the tier 12 Immolation Gloves have no spirit. Since our only 378 ilvl belt option, the Belt of the Seven Seals, also has no spirit, I decided to go with the Rhyolith gloves and aim for the helm, shoulders, chest and legs for my 4pc.

Picking the gloves as my offset meant not using the Clutch of the Firemother, which, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a very pretty piece of equipment, which is sad, but I was determined to have spirit on my gloves and I had plenty of haste to maintain my Holy Radiance breakpoint.

This was all done before I actually set foot into Firelands, mind you.

I ended up getting my T12 Immolation Headguard and then realized that if I bought the gloves, I would have my 4pc. So that’s what I did.

Behold, Divine Flame, our 4pc set bonus!

Too bad it sucks.

Looking over recent logs, over all boss attempts the other night, it did 1.2% of my total healing and overhealed 74% of the time. The most healing it’s ever really done for me was something like 3.3% and that must have been the stars aligning or something, because it’s usually around 1-2% of my total healing.

You can hear my initial reactions to the 4pc (and how underwhelming it is) on Episode 33 of Blessing of Frost.

Still, I figured, it’s free healing. That can’t be bad, right?

Well, when the heroic version of Clutch of the Firemother dropped on Tuesday night, I told Walks it was his if he wanted it, because it had never dropped on normal for him. He was reluctant and we both ended up selecting “Minor Upgrade” for it, which is an option you can choose within our guild that means that “I want this, but let anyone else who hit main spec for it get it before me”.

And I won it, with Walks insisting he wouldn’t use it until he got heroic shoulders off of Majordomo Staghelm — whom we haven’t even pulled on heroic yet.

So with the chest upgrade, I now have a choice: Break 4pc by keeping my Rhyolith gloves or keep 4pc by going back to my T12 gloves?

I’m going to break the bonus.

Let’s be clear: T11 tier was pretty terrible for us, but at least some of the T12 pieces are great. The helm and the legs, in particular, are fantastic from a holy paladin perspective. Your shoulder choices are tier (with crit as a secondary) or the ones from Beth’tilac (with mastery as a secondary), so I’ll go with the tier shoulders any day (slightly preferring crit to mastery). But the tier chest falls flat compared to Clutch of the Firemother if you’re not aiming for the 4pc.

If our 4pc were absolutely fantastic, I would have stuck to my gloves being my offset piece, but it’s really not that awesome. I do have all five tier pieces now, however, so I can swap things around a bit if I like, but really — Divine Flame recently did 27,000 healing total on a 6-minute heroic Shannox fight where I did 1.8 million healing.

I should probably go back to that gear post and plaster all over it that 4pc isn’t worth it, and maybe I’ll get around to that when time permits, but for right now, get your two-piece however you can (because that IS pretty awesome) and aim for your legs and your helm to be the two pieces you really hold on to.

10 Replies to “A Gear Post”

  1. I’ve also broken my 4p for the Heroic Clutch; I only picked up the tier helm a week ago or so but have been similarly underwhelmed by the bonus. I wish it was worth keeping!

  2. The thing I think is great from this post, is that we now have options in our gearing/gemming/reforging. Say what you will about the actual pieces/set bonuses… the fact that there are (currently, at least…) 2 entirely viable options for a Paladin to gear towards is a massive success for blizzard and our class overall.

    I can’t recall a time at any point, when our class had 2 equally viable and entirely opposite gearing paths. I really hope 4.3 doesn’t force us back into a int/haste cookie cutter spec. It’s nice to have options.

  3. I think you need to look at it in a slightly different way. You certainly will switch out your chest for the Clutch. So now, which is better: The Grips http://www.wowhead.com/item=71007 or the T12 hands http://www.wowhead.com/item=71092 *with* the 4T12 bonus.

    Comparison here: http://www.wowhead.com/compare?items=71007;71092

    It looks like the Tier piece has haste (your #2 stat), while the grips have Spirit (your #1 stat). And they both have effectively the same Crit, and a red socket.

    So is 205 Spirit that much better than 204 Haste that it will give you more than the 1% throughput you get from the 4T12.

    I don’t know how much mana 205 Spirit effectively comes out to, 205 Haste comes out to about 1.6% haste.

    I have a feeling that spirit is only slightly better for you than haste. And most likely 200 of any given stat change is going to have a net effect <1% of your total healing done.

    You *know* that breaking your 2T12 is going to cost you ~1% effective healing (according to your log parses).

    I feel like you're making an emotional decision "my 4T12 is not very effective, so I'm going to get rid of it", rather than a rational "my 4T12 is not very effective, but neither is switching 200 haste for 200 spirit, at least I get some benefit from the set bonus."

  4. As an example, say that all by itself, 200 Spirit gives you 2% more healing. (Because of extra mana that allows you to do a cast or two that you couldn’t before.)

    By itself 200 Haste gives you ~1.6% more healing (because you cast your spells faster).

    The net effect is 0.4% more healing done switching your Haste for Spirit. And then you lose 1.0% healing because you no longer have the 4T12 doing a little bit of splash healing.

    A better question, though. Are you going OOM in the fights, such that the extra spirit has *any* effect? Would it actually, say, let you cast a Flash of Light to save someone rather than a Divine Light that would land too late.

    The other factors are stuff like, extra haste technically only lets you land heals faster, not necessarily heal more. (you are inherently limited to only healing as much as damage, everything else is overheal.) Extra haste helps with sniping, and with hard throughput. (I have to burst heal the tank back to full after Decimation Blade.) Spirit helps tangentially, because maybe you could use Flash instead of Divine (though IIRC, Divine has more total HpS and HpM as long as the target doesn’t die in 1.5s.)

  5. After getting about 1/4 the way into my comment, I figured I should just write a large Mastery post for linking.

    TL/DR: Mastery builds are very effective when played correctly as part of an accommodating team. Take all healing theorycraft with a pound of salt. Low Haste builds are much less useful when your guild is 3 healing Heroic Ragnaros.

  6. Oh, and 4pc is good for some things but bad for others. 1% is actually huge compared to a couple swapped pieces. Consider using 4pc for those fights where you see 2%+ healing from the bonus.

  7. 6 of my gear pieces have no Spirit on them, and I have reforged Spirit into other stats on the rest of my gear, too. No, I’m not pushing a pure Mastery build, I’ve simply devalued Spirit and count it as my worst stat.

    I have 6000 Int, 1400 Spirit, 25% Mastery, 1000 Haste, 21% Crit. Healing Shannox heroic, I’m doing fine on mana. If anyone is struggling for mana it’s our Resto Shaman, and he is putting out a lot less hps/total heals than I am.

    It might get nerfed to hell and back in the next patch, but for now I’m loving this build.

  8. Yea I came to a similar conclusion on my site that you did. Crit is a far more effective stat to build up then the minor gains you get for the 4 piece set bonus. It just doesn’t impact a lot of the heroic healing encounters you’ll go through.

    Dropping below the 1859 haste rating is silly, our HR spell puts out significantly more hps with it, as does the rest of our spell library. Stacking haste to that point and then working over crit/spirit is far superior to any mastery cliche build i’ve seen to date.

    One of my theories about the Mastery/Crit build is that is really only succesful if you have a Shard of Woe (in terms of HPS output compared to a haste/spirit build). Mastery builds are “effective” only if your raid can support your gimped ass output and narrow healing focus.

  9. I was disapointed in 4pce. Especially as made the mistake of looking at it on rag, Where it procced once…

    Its actually buffed in 4.3 8->13 yards, Not that I imagine we will be wearing it long.

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