Masterful Madrana?

So there’s been all this talk about mastery gemming, enchanting and stacking.

Given that I was in an awkward position for gear, having received gloves from Rhyolith and legs from Shannox, I felt limited in my choices for what I should pick up from the Valor Point vendor.

I could have gotten my tier 12 chest, which has nowhere the amount of haste as my heroic Breastplate of Avenging Flame, or I could have gotten my tier 12 gloves, which have no spirit and aren’t in my planned 4pc, or I could have gotten my T12 pants, except that I just got those pants from Shannox.

I was already pretty well below the 1859 breakpoint for Holy Radiance’s extra tick and my heals felt sluggish.

We were struggling with Alysrazor and part of the problem was tank deaths. I almost always assign myself to a tank anyway, and we have some amazing raid healers, so I was like… Fine. FOR SCIENCE, I would try out this mastery stuff.

So I bought my T12 chest (oh why is it a robe? Dear God, why?) and regemmed everything to Artful Ember Topazes except for my 3 Jewelcrafter’s gems, which I replaced with 3x Fractured Chimera’s Eye.

And then I went reforging.

Basically, I ripped out all my haste and a bit of crit (as opposed to some spirit) and got to 26% on my shields.

1737 mastery rating. No kidding. 722 haste rating. My very soul ached!

But, FOR SCIENCE, and based on a bit of my own experience with a bit more mastery than I normally run with, I decided to stick with it.

So what experience was that?

Well, I raid with Apotheosis of Eldre’Thalas on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays and then on Mondays and Wednesdays, I play the baby paladin with Choice of Skywall. Both guilds are 4/7 in Firelands 25-man mode and though the baby pally didn’t have any heroic gear (and still only has a 353 helm, actually), a lot of the stats she had were just like the original Madrana’s, only a bit lesser. A little less haste, a little less crit, a little less spirit and a little less spellpower. But due to the nature of the drops and items I was able to acquire (and when you’re gearing up a new 85, you can’t always be picky!), I ended up with a lot more mastery than I wanted, even when it was reforged. 473 mastery rating was what the baby pally had, which was a far cry from the 100-some that Madrana had.

And yet, while healing Shannox with Choice, I realized that even that very little amount (473) I had was pretty freaking effective.

I literally stared at that for several minutes and went “what the hell is going on?”. I then compared it to a similar Shannox kill Apotheosis had done:

Yes, I had healed with Divine Light less on Madrana than the baby pally and that will absolutely make a difference in the Illuminated Healing. The fight was also shorter. But could it really explain away over 300,000 in absorption? Nope. That mastery was really working for me. Both my assignments were the same — heal the Shannox tank. And I played very similarly throughout those fights.

So when I got to the point with my gear that I didn’t have enough haste to be comfortable in my regular playstyle, despite having actually upgraded gear, I decided that I’d try out this mastery stuff, at least until I can get my haste back up.

It helped out on Alysrazor, or at least it felt like it. And we got Alysrazor down, by the skin of our teeth. So I stuck with it for last night’s Occu’thar, Shannox, Beth’tilac and Rhyolith kills. Here’s the result from Shannox, to keep things consistent:

Are you kidding me? Almost a million damage absorbed by Illuminated Healing? 34% of my “healing” was done by my MASTERY?

So, it’s effective. Quite effective.

However, I lost a lot of stats. I lost a TON of Intellect by virtue of gemming 20 mastery/20 int instead of 40 int, and the 67 mastery gems instead of intellect, too. I lost a LOT of haste. It’s just … gone. My casts take FOREVER and they don’t hit for as hard! But… they shield for a chunk.

[21:57:59.760] Madrana Word of Glory [Tank] +*0* (O: 48629)
[21:58:00.353] [Tank] gains Illuminated Healing from Madrana (Remaining: 12936)

Like, whoah. That’s significant.

However, I have effectively gimped myself for anything other than tank healing. Which shouldn’t be a big deal, because that’s almost all I tend to do anyway, but I felt weak and I felt gimped. I didn’t have the mana pool I was used to, so Divine Plea helped, but still felt less than I’m used to. Replenishment wasn’t hitting for as much. I keenly felt the smaller mana pool and I knew that I was relying more on the raid healers to spot heal people that I would normally toss a Holy Shock on or whatever.

In short, it hurt me, but it’s effective enough and I’m in a 25-man guild that can sustain a “specialized” tank healer. As soon as I can, I’m probably going to go back to stacking haste — but might come back to mastery for certain heroic fights.

I tell you, though, I felt absolutely useless in P2 of Beth’tilac and throughout the entire Rhyolith fight.

So, basically, I concur with Enlynn: it’s not fun and it gimps you, but it can be super effective if done correctly.

I much prefer having the possibility of being flexible and versatile to the reality of not being able to really deviate at all from my standard assignments. But my gear is essentially making me do this for a couple of weeks, so we’ll see how that goes, shall we?

Next up, Baleroc. Should be fun. I’ll keep you guys posted.

7 Replies to “Masterful Madrana?”

  1. A little tip for your for Baleroc, stacking mastery probably won’t be very good for that fight. Even though your shields will increase in size with the buff (which will make your healing look very good) it won’t have much of an effect on the outcome of the fight. Healing wise, the most crucial parts of the fight is when Baleroc gets his buff that hits the tank for 90% of his health. An increase in your shields won’t help him survive the next hit, as it cannot be mitigated. It will always hit for 90% of his max health, and his swing timer (pretty sure) is faster than the cast of a divine light. Speed and longevity are your friends for that fight. (It’s a pretty easy fight really, much easier than Alysrazor with good coordination amongst the healers.)

    On the topic of mastery, it’s not a bad stat I think for paladins. I think whether you want it now is a matter of playstyle and your raid comp. I.E. if you’re not going to be doing anything other than tank healing, it’s not a bad stat. However, I’m not sure if I would drop any intellect to pick it up.

  2. I’ll trade you my T12 tunic (ewwwww) for your dress. I *hate* seeing my pants and I hope this tier is short. After the pretty of T11, changing gear makes me wish perma-tree was still in game…

  3. Welcome to the world of disco priesting! :P As mentioned above it will be phenomenal for Baleroc. A 200k Greater Heal crit (or Divine Light!) makes a pretty large bubble. :D

  4. Oh, as an extra experiment if you’re feeling so inclined…

    I’ve started reforging AWAY from spirit on my priest. I’m below 2000 spirit unbuffed now due to reforging. I’m keeping all the other secondary stats on my gear and removing spirit to a priority of mastery > crit > haste.

    I realized I had become lax in the use of my mana regen cooldowns (Arcane Torrent, Shadowfiend, Rapture procs, Hymn of Hope, and the potion) and was just powering through content while ending with 50%+ in mana. Since I’ve reforged I honestly have noticed no mana pinch but my throughput has skyrocketed.

    I have yet to do this on my paladin (poor paly has been on the backburner since 4.2 :( I miss her). I imagine so long as I maintain my DP while managing my judgements and cooldowns I’ll find some very similar results. Much like my disco priest – a paladin’s mana regen is less based on spirit and more on returns from my abilities.

  5. The only thing I still have against this new ‘mastery’ build is that there doesn’t really seem to be any big upside to it.

    – You have to be in a 25 man in order to make it function since that’s the only time you can spare a healer to do nothing but tank heal.

    – It only seems to be viable on fights where tank healing IS a huge concern over equal parts raid healing.

    – Even by Kurn’s own meters, it doesn’t seem to be MORE effective than a normal haste build as far as total output of healing in a fight. Although the only meter showcasing Kurn playing a paladin with nearly zero mastery has lower total output than the two mastery using meters, you can also note that that fight without mastery also finished a good deal sooner than the other two, so I think you could ratio it out and call it pretty flush.

    I suppose it’s neat to read about different playstyles since there seems to have been no particular movement since Cata on how to gear/stat priorities, but I see this mastery hullabaloo as Wrath’s version of a pure FoL build, where there was one healer which was just geared to pound out small, powerful heals to keep tank damage from being so spiky.

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