Don’t be so hasty (Or, do?)

I have a rather large hardon for haste. It’s almost as big as my one for Intellect. Infact, both are kinda the same size, maybe one has more girth than the other…..

Before I start rambling, let me pre-cursor this. I consider myself a fairly competent healer. In no way, shape or form am I the best, but I take my role in a raid seriously and optimize what I bring to the table (Be it lightning quick BoPs/Freedom etc, rotating CDs, tank and personal, properly, predicting tank damage and weaving in heals to the raid). The exceptions to this are farm content that I generally slack off on because it’s a tier behind and the fights are usually overly boring if I’m going at full potential. Over the course of my time healing in this game, I’ve never really encountered damage I thought to be “unhealable”, minus things that really were (and in that case, something went wrong).

The one thing that always bothered me, from day one, was loading up a bomb to drop and having it cast the moment someone takes damage that would kill them, or even a split second off of the cast, and watching them drop. The heal was loaded and ready, it was going to save them, but the limiting factor was the time to cast versus time to damage.

If I had a little more haste, would that person have lived through the encounter? Most likely yes.

There is no other stat available to us that can make that kind of difference. There are only a few feasible arguments against this:

#1: Spell Power to Beef up the HL Glyph. This is a very reasonable and acceptable theory. The fact that 100 spell power directly increases Holy Light’s heal amount by roughly 220 before healing modifiers is nothing to sneeze at. It’s one of the reasons I don’t completely ignore Spell Power. However, its situational at best. This additional spell power doesn’t really add much to the actual splash of the glyph. The gains of it are only noticeable over a prolonged period of time, and thats only if there’s enough raid damage for the splash to not be overheal. HL glyph is a akin to JoL, its a raid band-aid. You can count on it smoothing the curve assuming positioning is in favor, but you can’t count on it saving someone’s life unless the stars align. It is, and never will be, nothing more than a utility damage smoother.

#2: You should have HS/FoLed! – This assumes that HS is on CD, as its a very, very powerful tool in 10 raiding and should be used frequently in high movement situations or medium to low tank damage situations. Also, this kind of thing happens with FoL anyways. I’ve had it happen and I’ve let loose a string of obscenities that would make a sailor blush. This isn’t about tactics anyways, It’s about raw stats.

#3: Ur other healz r n00bz lol its not ur job u hael tankz – Get out.

Credit to Something Awful

Now that that’s established, it’s no secret that if you root around current Paladin data, Haste is the #1 (pure) throughput stat for paladins up to the softcap. Now you may be thinking, but what about intellect? – Point taken. Intellect is just as an important throughput stat as haste in the long run. More mana – More sustained and burst heals – more HPS. But when you’re in a situation where you’re at roughly 40k mana raidbuffed (which is nothing compared to top ranked paladins hitting 50K+) what good did that intellect do to you when you’re struggling to even try to go out of mana?

A bit more crit, a bit more spell power, but you don’t see many gains from it besides longevity you can’t reasonably overpower for any gains.

Haste counters this issue, and makes the mana pool useful. Now you can deplete it for reasonable gain.

Ok, so the long lasting debate: Which is better – Haste or Crit?

Short Answer: Personal Preference and Dependent on your Raid Comp

Long Answer: I don’t like crit. I never have, I never will. It’s not a concrete stat, you can not depend on it.

Take tanks for example. I was one for the longest time, infact, most of my wow experience has been behind a meatshield. In a general purpose situation, tanks stack stamina and armor. They don’t deliberately stack  (and of course, don’t ignore) dodge, parry, block or defense unless the encounter specifically calls for that. This is because of Effective Health. It’s a constant, it’s proven to work. Avoidance is a variable, you can’t rely on it. Having 99% pure avoidance doesn’t mean much if you have 24k health against an Icecrown boss. You miss a dodge, you eat a magic based nuke with no DR CDs, game over.

Now in 3.0, i stacked crit. Illumination was disgusting back then. But I also stacked haste on top of it, because even then I knew that there’s no point in staying at full mana for the whole fight other than to gloat at the other healers. Infact, almost all my gear minus maybe one or two pieces were hate/crit itemized.

Now, after Illumination’s nerf, Crit isn’t that hot of a stat anymore. Regen wise, its extremely sub-par to MP5 point for point. The added benefit tho is that it can, and effectively will, increase your direct throughput. But it’s not reliable. You can’t demand your HL to crit 10% more often because you stacked 10% more. RNG is RNG. You will get strings of 4,5, hell, 10 non crits in a row. But you could cast for 1 minute straight and crit every time. It happens.

Haste is reliable. Haste ensures you’re putting out a sustained amount of HPS to keep the tank alive. Wings, 2pcT10, Trinkets, they are your burst. Use them as a counter for DP if burst isn’t required.

Lets do some napkin math.

Lets say your Holy Light hits (non crit) for 16k

Lets say it crits for roughly 25k

Example one shows an unlikely situation, but used for display of purpose:

Haste from gear = 0

Haste via raid buffs (JotP, SR, ToW) = 24-25% (im approximating, its napkin math)

25% Haste gives your FoL a rough 1.2 second cast time, and your HL a rough 1.6 second cast time.

Total Crit Raid Buffed: 30%

Spam Holy Light for One minute:

Not accounting for latency, this is 37 casts over the course of a minute.

Before crits: 592,000 Healing. Assuming 30% crit: 691,600 healing.

Now lets add on 675 haste to our gear (the current “soft cap”)

Total Haste = 50%

FoL now has a 1 second cast time and HL has a 1.33 second cast time.

Total Crit Raid Buffed: 30%

Spam Holy Light for One minute:

Not account for latency, this is 45 casts over the course of a minute.

Before crits: 720,000 healing. Assuming 30% crit; 837,000 healing.

Now, lets take that same amount of haste rating, and convert it point for point into critical %.

45.91 Crit rating is required to gain 1% crit.

with this, we gain 14.7% crit rating converting all of the haste on gear to crit.

Total Haste = 25%

25% Haste gives your FoL a rough 1.2 second cast time, and your HL a rough 1.6 second cast time.

Total Crit Raid Buffed: 44.7%

Spam Holy Light for One minute:

Not account for latency, this is 37 casts over the course of a minute.

Before crits: 592,000 healing. Assuming 44.7% crit; 736,000 healing.


This is not the end-all-be-all. There are limiting factors in terms of both crit and haste, and this is by NO MEANS a model to follow by, as there are many other factors that will curb these results in different ways. This just displays that in a perfectly controlled environment, haste outperforms crit in pure throughput. You can get lucky and crit your ass off and overcome it, but thats not reliable, and brings me to another point.

Haste is the only reliable way to directly increase your throughput (which is pretty much the whole point of this post). Spell Power almost always converts to overheal on a single target basis, so gearing for spell power in a HL build is more often than none a waste. Increasing the amount of casts you can do in any given time will yield better results in terms of pure throughput than any other stat.

Now that you’ve bored me to death, what should I stack?

A respectable mix of everything. Despite illumination’s nerf, 30% refund of HL’s base mana cost is no joke (or else we wouldn’t put points into it). On top of being a minor regen stat, it DOES double as throughput, even if it is a chance on how much.

In regards to haste: 675 is your “softcap”. It will reduce the cast time of FoL with full raid buffs (Not counting bloodlust) to 1 second. Note that the value of haste after this point directly drops because of this factor, as it no longer increases the throughput of your FoL.

That DOES NOT mean that haste after 675 is worthless. It just means you’ll see less returns if you weave in FoL.

The choice is ultimately yours, but its kinda hard to ignore this. In my opinion, There’s really no reason you should ever be below the soft cap baring you don’t have access to the gear. We have a plethora of mana regen capabilities, and if you’re going oom and you’re deliberately not using these (Mainly Divine Plea) to increase overall throughput, then you’re doing it wrong. Thats blunt, but it’s hard to dismiss this, especially when holding off casting can result in a tank death, when continuing to cast through DP + counter methods can prevent that.

In my opinion: Stack Int > Stack Haste > Stack MP5 >  Stack Crit > Stack Spell Power

But after all this nitpicking, all I can say is: Gear for what your raid needs, but never ignore the basic facts on how our stats operate.

OH, and as a side note to this, I did a random the other day, in which I engaged in conversation regarding paladin healing. This guy swore up and down that JotP wasn’t worth the GCD to refresh it.

It basicly went like this:

Me: Words, Words, Words JotP

Dude: JotP teh failz 420 Spam HL Everyday

Me: -_-

Now granted if you’re judging a mob during a heavy tank spike period your performance needs to be evaluated a bit, but to say never… /sigh. Judge when the spike isn’t high! Even if it clips the duration! It’s not like its a fucking DoT!

Till next time!


~ by Genghis Khan's Dick on March 1, 2010.

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