Stat priorities, or stat weights, are a means by which to guide your gearing process as you advance through more difficult content and find newer and better items. Each piece of gear, with the exception of Trinkets, will have intellect, stamina, and one or two of these secondary stats: critical strike, haste, mastery, multistrike, versatility, or spirit. Stat weights are an attempt to give value to each secondary stat and provide an idea of which items are better to choose based on their stats.
- Critical Strike: Increases the chance for your abilities to critically strike, dealing double the regular healing or damage.
- Haste: Reduces the cast time of your abilities as well as the cooldown of Holy Shock, Crusader Strike, and Judgment. Also reduces the global cooldown (GCD); the minimum amount of time between each ability. The GCD is 1.5 seconds and can be reduced to 1 second with 50% haste.
- Mastery: All direct healing (non-Beacon) places an absorb on the target for a percentage of the amount healed for 15 seconds. This absorb can be refreshed and stacked up to 1/3 of the casting Paladin’s maximum health.
- Multistrike: All spells and abilities have two chances equal to your multistrike percent to apply the damaging spell or heal again at 30% of the original amount. This is a little tricky to understand. If you have 20% multistrike your Holy Light has a 20% chance to additionally heal for 30% of the original amount and then another 20% chance to heal for 30% of the original amount again. 100% multistrike would give you a guaranteed 60% additional healing through the two extra 30% heals.
- Versatility: Increases damage, healing, and absorbs by a flat percentage and reduces damage taken by half that amount.
- Spirit: Increases mana regeneration.
In Warlords of Draenor, each spec has a specifically attuned secondary stat of which they gain 5% more than any of the other secondary stats. Typically, this stat also has some synergy with the way each specialization is played. For Holy Paladins, that stat is critical strike. Aside from its normal effect, critical strike benefits Holy Shock in two unique ways. Holy Shock receives double the percentage to critically strike, and each Holy Shock crit grants the Infusion of Light buff, increasing the effectiveness of the next Flash of Light by 50% or reducing the cast time of the next Holy Radiance or Holy Light by 1.5 seconds. This makes critical strike our most desired secondary stat.
- Critical strike
- Versatility or Haste
The particular stat weights of each secondary stat can vary depending on your character’s current talent selection and items. If you would like to see the weight of each secondary stat specific to your character you can go to this spreadsheet and find them for yourself. If that seems like too daunting of a task you will be just fine following the stat priorities listed above as a guideline.
Here are the general trends of how secondary stats compare as item levels increase for the two main Holy Paladin talent selections, Eternal Flame and Selfless Healer:
The “Eternal Flame” graph roughly represents what all talent and glyph combinations, except for Selfless Healer, look like. The Selfless Healer talent is unique in its playstyle and stat weights, so I included graphs for both talent choices. Besides LFR, each column was calculated with the 4-piece Tier 18 set bonuses. The last row is to show how adding more crit via sockets affects the weight of critical strike. The purpose was to show that the drop of crit’s value from Heroic to Mythic was not a trend line, but more of an indication of the decrease in relative power once we reach the crit softcap.
Crit vs. Mastery
In the graphs above, you will have noticed that once we reach the crit softcap of 30%, mastery becomes our most effective secondary stat. While this probably shouldn’t affect your gearing choices too much, it might affect your gems, enchants, and consumables. The crit softcap is reached at some point between the Heroic Best-in-Slot list and the Mythic Best-in-Slot list. Although it appears that Mastery becomes way better, there is still more to the story. Mastery can only be as large as 1/3 of the casting Paladin’s maximum health. This isn’t as much of an issue until we start acquiring Mythic gear and our Flash of Lights start to heal for larger and larger amounts, especially during Avenging Wrath or while the Legendary Ring is active. As such, there are times where a single Flash of Light is capable of healing for more than the Illuminated Healing cap. Unfortunately, this problem is hard to nail down and is dependent on the individual Paladin’s gear, so it isn’t reflected in the stat weights. Mastery is absolutely overvalued in the above graphs; I just don’t know by how much. Since I can’t definitively calculate the theoretical mastery cap, I’m just going to continue to say that crit and mastery are relatively equal and will always be our top two priorities.
A note about spirit and determining stat weights in general:
Spirit is very hard to pin down to a particular weight because it ends up being much less linear than any of the other secondary stats. The value of spirit is largely relative to each individual player and doesn’t always hold an intrinsic value that can be measured in the same way as the other secondary stats. This is why most people describe spirit as an “as much as you feel comfortable with” weight. Secondary stat weights are difficult to precisely calculate for healers in general, but spirit is more so than any other.
Stat weights for healers are much more complicated, nuanced, and subjective than stat weights for damage dealing specializations. There is a set amount of damage that a raid takes at any given time. As such, each healer is working with all of the other healers to restore the raid’s health in the most efficient way possible. Each healing class has different strengths and weaknesses that create diverse encounters unique to specific healing compositions, bosses, assigned roles, or individual players. The goal for any healer is never to simply do as much healing as they possibly can. Healers are limited by their mana pool and boss encounters require careful planning of when to use specific cooldowns to mitigate incoming damage that is otherwise unable to be healed. Every healing team is trying to minimize the amount of overhealing while still maintaining enough collective healing per second to keep the raid alive. This balance of efficiency versus output creates a spontaneous environment that is often hard to accurately replicate for the purpose of determining which stats and abilities will garner the most from our available resources. The best we can do is mimic the actual outcome, but the results will never be as concrete as the simulations available to damage dealers.
Advanced Section About Softcaps
For those who only care about the numbers themselves, here are the specific softcaps:
- 839 haste with 4 piece Tier 18, Sanctified Wrath, and Glyph of Merciful Wrath
- 1626 haste without 4 piece Tier 18, but with SW and GoMW
- 2069 critical strike with 125 crit food, SW, and GoMW
- 2200 critical strike without any crit food, but with SW and GoMW
In the past, damage-over-time (DoT) and healing-over-time (HoT) effects have had an interesting relationship with haste. The number of times an ability heals or deals damage in its duration is modified by haste. This was manifested in specific breakpoints at which an additional tick of healing or damage would come from acquiring enough haste. A new tick could only be attained at very specific amounts of haste and any extra haste between two breakpoints was essentially useless for that specific ability. Warlords of Draenor has changed the mechanics of HoTs and DoTs so that these breakpoints are no longer important. Any additional haste past the old breakpoints now adds a fractional amount to the last tick of an ability. This makes gearing for specific haste breakpoints obsolete. Yay!
However, we do still have to worry about the haste softcap of 50%. 50% haste reduces the global cooldown to 1 second. Our cast times can still be reduced past this point, but we will still be constrained by the GCD, so it won’t make a difference in terms of healing per second. Only Holy Light and Holy Radiance have cast times that are longer than the GCD so any haste that takes us over 50% is much less desired. Each new “source” of haste is applied to any previous haste multiplicatively. Haste from items is considered a single source of haste, but we also gain 10% from Infusion of Light, 5% from the raid buff, 20% from Avenging Wrath (or 10% with the Merciful Wrath glyph), and up to 8% with 4 piece Tier 18. Each new source of haste multiplies the previous amount of haste by the new amount. This means we need very little haste to reach the 50% mark while Avenging Wrath is active.
If you have 4 piece Tier 18 and the combination of the Sanctified Wrath talent and the Glyph of Merciful Wrath, 839 haste is the point at which you will have 50% haste while Avenging Wrath is active. If you do not have 4 piece Tier 18, 1626 haste is required to reach 50% haste during Avenging Wrath. It’s very important to note that this does not mean you should go out of your way to reach these numbers–just that the value of haste greatly diminishes once you go past these numbers.
I should start by explaining that the critical strike softcap is a slight misnomer. The softcap is determined by the amount of crit necessary to guarantee that Holy Shock will critically strike while Avenging Wrath is active, giving Infusion of Light procs. However, unlike haste, crit still retains a very high value after this softcap, it just loses some of its value. Also unlike haste, each new amount of critical strike is additive to any previous crit. If you have the combination of the Sanctified Wrath talent and the Glyph of Merciful Wrath, 2069 crit is required to reach 100% critical strike chance of Holy Shock during Avenging Wrath (only 1959 if you’re a Blood Elf). This assumes you have 125 crit from the “Well Fed” buff. Otherwise, 2200 (2090 for Blood Elf) crit is necessary for guaranteed Holy Shock crits.