Crit or haste?

In the first few months of WotLK raiding, when I went holy for the first time, you would have had to pry crit from my cold dead hands. I went the way of the holy/ret build back then, because holy/prot hadn’t yet seen the changes of 3.1 that made it the viable (and my preferred) spec that it is now. I think I went insane over the fact that Soul of the Dead NEVER dropped for us from Sapphiron, week after week, and I’m pretty sure that when it finally did and I snatched it up, I let out my biggest happy squeal of all time. Torch of Holy Fire? Screw that, I’m snatching The Turning Tide away from our warlocks.

These days, I’m tooting a very different horn. I love haste and I can’t get enough of it, so much that I’m sitting well above the recommended 675 soft cap for haste rating from gear. Because we don’t always run with a boomkin in 10s and very rarely have a ret paladin, I don’t get the buffs from those classes in regards to haste, so I try to keep as much as possible on my gear, and I eat haste buff food.

Why the change? Well for one thing, crit just isn’t as good as it used to be. Critical strikes don’t return as much mana as they used to, so that benefit has gone a little out of the window, not to mention that improved gear from Naxx to Ice Cream Social and epic gems mean that mana pools are higher than ever. I can’t remember the last time that I felt truly strained for mana or felt that I would run dry with no chance to recover, even when chain casting Holy Light on fights like Marrowgar or Festergut or … everything else in ICC. Crit is nice for having those BIG NUMBERS heals, but in many cases the crits are just overheals for a class that has high overhealing anyway (not that there’s a problem with this – as long as you have mana and things don’t die, who cares about overheal?). Just sticking with the critical strike rating that’s on spell plate and other pieces, and the amount that you’ll naturally get from nom nom noming intellect gems should be sufficient – I just don’t see the benefit in gemming for crit rating when you can easily get to 30% or more holy crit from gear.

Haste on the other hand, while it has diminishing returns, is something that you can’t really go wrong with having a little more of. The more haste, the more spells you can cast. If you’re starting harder content, it can be a real life saver in terms of how much throughput you can manage. While you have a chance of getting critical strike heals that will top someone off, with haste there is a guarantee that you’ll be able to quickly put out a second heal. For me it’s a more reliable tool for OHCRAP moments, and probably the only thing that facilitates surviving fears in 5 mans (but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). I feel more secure with having plenty of haste and knowing that my heals have a higher probability of landing in time – our limitation is really speed rather than throughput or longevity. Also, this is what casting looks like when you’re hopped up on haste:

For srs.

Of course, the exception to all of this is the FoL build, in which case you don’t want haste OR crit, you want MOAR SPELLPOWER. That’s a completely foreign territory for me, but maybe someday I’ll give it a try for fun and ~SCIENCE~.

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  1. #1 by Anna on February 10, 2010 - 11:00 am

    As a fellow Holy/Prot pally I support this message. (Holy Light FTW! I didn’t like FoL spec. It was good when things were fine, but when the shit hit the fan, it just couldn’t hack the HPS to keep up with the damage)

    I don’t really even look at whether something has crit or mp/5 on it anymore – as long as I keep my crit rate around 35-40%, I’m happy, and then it’s haste all the way! Some new upgrades from ICC (to items that really /really/ needed upgrading) have me at about 770 haste rating right now, and that’s considerably lower than I was running in ToGC. Go figure!

    As for mana, I only run out of it when other bad things are happening and I get distracted by OH SHIT DON’T DIE and forget to use my cooldowns because I’m GCD capped for healing. That part sucks, but I don’t think that’s unique to paladins >.<

  2. #2 by supernose on February 10, 2010 - 11:02 am

    I would more or less agree, except for the part where I start grabbing items with subpar stats on them for Paladins, just because it’s got haste on it. As a whole, I tend to stay as far away from Spirit as possible, and I generally won’t hold onto old items just because of haste.

    -Sady
    http://flashofsadysm.wordpress.com

  3. #3 by Cel on February 10, 2010 - 11:13 am

    @Sady I definitely agree that you should stick to items that fit Paladins all around, instead of grabbing haste for haste’s sake. I’ll always take an upgrade that provides the stats I need no matter what, I’ll just pout a little if it means losing a good chunk of haste in the process.

    It does seem that at this point in the game, most of the upgrades that I’ve run into in ICC have both haste and crit.

  4. #4 by Ambrosine on February 10, 2010 - 11:16 am

    I’m a retired, unrepentant FoL spammer. Mmm, SP.

  5. #5 by HP on February 10, 2010 - 11:40 am

    I loved Soul of the Dead and then when we got nerfed, I was so sad that my beloved trinket sucked! I always loved my JC owl though.

    I definitely always loved haste though even before the nerf. Currently I dropped to a little over 800 haste because I got a crit/mp5 neck recently but I really wouldn’t mind more haste! Loves it

  6. #6 by Joe Ego on February 10, 2010 - 3:04 pm

    I’ve been prioritizing haste/crit gear and easily break 800 rating. I considered trying for haste/mp5, but after wearing the mail belt off Deathbringer I’ve decided to stick with plate gear and take what I can get. Our progression is never tight enough that my gearing is an issue, so I don’t mind sacrificing mp5 for some crit. I even took crit/mp5 gloves because other upgrades kept me over 800 haste.

    40% crit is nice in a 25man for not even trying. I can’t see losing out on near 1 second Holy Lights just to get over 50% crit.

  7. #7 by Sadysm on February 10, 2010 - 3:13 pm

    Ok seriously? How the hell do y’all have so much haste?? Outside of maybe hemming for it I can’t seem to break the 600 mark. Hell I might not even have 500….can’t exactly remember. Am I missing some easy upgrades or something??

  8. #8 by Joe Ego on February 10, 2010 - 4:22 pm

    I just tried to wear items with haste and was slowly closing in on the FoL cap of 676. Then one day I found myself over 700 and it was up & away!

    I’m wearing a mix of ICC10/25 and ToC25 drops.
    http://www.wow-heroes.com/index.php?zone=us&server=Uther&name=Yoseketh

  9. #9 by ToyChristopher on February 10, 2010 - 5:06 pm

    I also have a ton of haste. In a raid my holy light is 1.4 seconds and during blood lust it drops even lower! I love haste so much, and anytime I try on some gear with less haste I feel like I am casting through peanut butter. Go haste go!

  10. #10 by Silk on February 10, 2010 - 5:44 pm

    In terms of Holy Pally gearing its

    Int > > Haste > > > > > > > > All

    I usually have around 950 haste raid buffed and I’d take more. Don’t write off Haste / mp5 pieces (even mail ones) cause heroic ICC WILL test your mana even if its not now.

    Of course the vast majority of plate in ICC is Haste / Crit (which is good but not great) or Crit / mp5 (which is bad). Plenty of Haste / mp5 mail that no respectable shammy would touch.

  11. #11 by Teresa on February 11, 2010 - 9:03 am

    “Because we don’t always run with a boomkin in 10s and very rarely have a ret paladin”

    \o/ We are bringing both on Sunday to give you MOAR HASTE!

    (okay yeah, the Boomkin is really me, and im really Resto but I can Boomkin! I swear! I have lazers and everything!)

  12. #12 by Cel on February 11, 2010 - 6:44 pm

    @Teresa I can’t wait! ZOMG look at that Holy Light go!

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