Haste, Haste, Haste……… and more Haste

This was originally posted back in February as a normal blog post but now I have neatened it up a bit and expanded some of the numbers so it is getting listed as a proper page.

As I have said in my Restoration Druid Guide, after Intellect and Spirit we are looking for haste rating.

What is haste then?
Haste is one of the three secondary stats that healers look at, and for resto druids is the most important until it reaches certain levels, or “breakpoints”. Just for the number crunchers out there, to gain 1% spell haste you need 128.057 haste rating. Haste has various effects;

  • Global Cooldown – The global cooldown (GCD) has a baseline value of 1.5 seconds. Enough haste can reduce this to 1 second. That means a 33% reduction on the delay between casting spells. I am unsure, but I believe the number required to reach the 1 sec GCD is 50% haste (5495 haste rating assuming the 5% raid buff).
  • Increased casting speed – Simply put, the greater your haste rating the quicker you cast non-instant spells
  • Extra HoT ticks – This is the important one for us resto types. Increased haste means more ticks of our HoTs; more ticks = more healing for the same amount of mana.  Each HoT has a different set of values that are important. These are listed below.

Unlike some other stats, our secondaries don’t really have a “hard” cap. Haste is no different. There are certain points at which other stats (specifically mastery) may be more attractive, but generally if you can reforge/enchant/regem and hit a haste breakpoint, then haste is our best stat. It is even worth gemming away from int/haste into pure haste some times (iirc the 2004 breakpoint is one such area – if you can hit it, then it is worth sacrificing up to about 350 intellect to reach it)

Ok, which number should I look for with haste?
These values vary from spell to spell, so here is a small list of some important numbers for our HoTs. The first number  assumes that you have the 5% haste buff (given by shadow priests, boomkins and wrath of air totems) present, the second number assumes you have no 5% haste buff (poor you 😦 ) The bold numbers are those that could be considered the most easily achievable at this current gear level and can easily be achieved without raiding.

Rejuvenation and Tranquility :

  • 4 ticks by default
  • 5 ticks (12.5%)  = 917/1602 haste 
  • 6 ticks (37.5%) = 3964/4803 haste

Wild Growth and Efflorescence:

  • 7 ticks by default
  • 8 ticks (7.1%)  = 262/913 haste
  • 9 ticks (21.4%)  = 2005/2745 haste
  • 10 ticks (35.7%)  = 3754/4582 haste

Lifebloom:

  • 10 ticks by default
  • 11 ticks (5%) = 0 haste
  • 12 ticks (15%)  = 1221/1922 haste
  • 13 ticks (25%) = 2449/3212 haste
  • 14 ticks (35%) = 3665/4488 haste

Regrowth:

  • 3 ticks by default
  • 4 ticks (16.6%)  = 1423/2133 haste

The original crunching of these was by Reesi

So in numerical order, the specific important numbers and what they give are:

  • 917 (12.5%) = 1 extra tick on rejuvenation and tranquility; a very important number, rejuvenation is our basic HoT and so increasing its healing by 25% is excellent, the same applies to tranquility now that it is so good and on a much lower cooldown.
  • 1423 (16.6%) = 1 extra tick on regrowth; not as much of a buff as it seems, it does increases regrowths ticks by 33% but more than half the healing from regrowth comes from the initial heal, not worth dropping intellect/mastery to reach
  • 2005 (21.4%) = 2 extra ticks on wild growth and efflorescence; two extra ticks on our primary AoE heals is nothing to be sniffed at, definitely worth dropping both intellect and mastery to reach. Depending on your gear, you can “safely” drop around 350 intellect to reach this and still see a throughput improvement.
  • 2449 (25%) = 3 extra ticks on lifebloom; depending on your play style this is either rather important or it isn’t. If you allow LB to bloom then reapply the additional ticks will be good, if you constantly refresh LB before it fully expires the 13th tick will be much less useful and you should probably not aim for this breakpoint.

So I ignore all gear with no haste and take older stuff with haste?
No, absolutely not. Haste may be excellent but it is still a secondary stat and is generally much inferior to Intellect, don’t hang onto old gear just because they have haste and a new higher iLevel doesn’t. Look at the other stats and make an informed choice.

Say your older normal dungeon piece has 87 haste and 185 intellect, a newer piece has no haste (but 100 crit) and 196 Intellect, do the maths, even reforged you will lose 47 haste for the gain of 11 intellect – is this worth it in your build? If you will drop below one of the important numbers to gain a tick, then I would say leave it, or juggle things a bit with reforging/gems/enchants etc to gain it back elsewhere, if you are comfortably above a value and won’t lose a tick anywhere then swap them out, after all, more Int is more mana, spellpower, crit and regen.

On the matter of regen, haste will also have a tiny effect on this, the revitalise talent gives you a 20% chance per tick of rejuv or lifebloom to instantly regen 2% mana (not more than once every 12 secs). The more ticks of those you have, the greater the chance on not missing an opportunity to gain mana. This is especially true with the new 2pc T12 set bonus which gives you a 40% chance to instantly gain 1% mana per tick of Lifebloom.

Given the changes to mastery in 4.2, and the sheer awesomeness of the Harmony mastery mean that in between breakpoints, it may be advisable to reforge into mastery until you can jiggle things around sufficiently to reach the next haste value.

One last point; don’t forget other sources of haste but don’t rely on them either. If you have controllable additional haste (such as Lifeblood or a trinket), consider macroing it your ToL so that you can pop the extra speed when you are casting multiple LBs, instant regrowths and larger WG. For procs that you can’t control, just watch for them and us the additional speed to pop off some heals a little quicker to top up the tank and such.

How about gemming and enchanting for pure haste? Is that a good idea?
As I said before,  ditching other stats to make way for haste is ok at certain times. Check your stats and see if it will allow you reach a good breakpoint or not. E.g. consider it for 2005 but not 1423.

Basically the summary would be: Haste is our most important secondary stat, get as much as you can and aim for breakpoints but don’t blindly stack it without knowing why.

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