Content by Lytheia – editing by Dorelei – screenshot by Cinder

 

Stat priority and stat weights. One of the ever returning questions we ask ourselves when a new tier comes around the corner, or when we move from progress to farm. And for good reason. Because over the years stat priorities have changed quite a bit. So what is it going to be this time? In order to explain the current state of the stats, a little back story is necessary. As you may have noticed, there are a lot of factors in the game that affect how you should optimally play your resto shaman. There are legendaries, healer compositions, relics, talent choices, set bonuses, trinkets, gear that dropped for you and gear that just is not dropping for you (hello titanforged – our nemesis).

If you speak with other resto shamans, you may have discovered that their playstyle is impacted by the legendaries they run (and perhaps were so (un)lucky to receive). So the question we should ask ourselves is, how can Blizzard possibly balance (at least to some degree) these countless factors a resto shaman can find him or herself in. One solution could lie in the diminished value of each of these factors. In other words, by decreasing how much each factor impacts the actual outcome. Regardless, Blizzard has a habit of alternating what abilities and stats should be prioritized for optimal output. Some tiers we barely use Healing Rain. In other tiers, it is managed vigorously. They change things up every now and then. And this time around, it seems crit is back in season.

One of the more interesting observations we made in preparation of this article, was the desire to start prioritizing crit more. Whether this was paired with versatility or haste as the second secondary stat. Mastery was spoken of quite badly (in relative resto shaman terms). However, when looking at what is actually happening in progress right now, most of our shamans seem to be running around with quite a bit of mastery. So what changed? Is mastery not as bad as they all made it seem? Or did progress lure them into one of our classic strengths once again?

It seems like once again we follow a classic pattern: mastery more prevalent in progress, and the desire for crit on farm. The one thing that is new is the rise of versatility and haste at the same time. For more on this, keep reading this article.

 

Stat priorities

We present to you three resto shaman builds, fresh from current progress:

 

Crit-Vers build

(Dunderz <Ecology> Kazzak EU – currently world 34th )

Intellect > Crit > Vers > Haste > Mastery

 

Mastery build

(Halucinogen <ScrubBusters> The Maelstrom EU – currently world 5th )

Intellect > Mastery > Crit > Haste > Vers

 

Crit-Haste build

Various interesting logs in world 250 ranking

Intellect > Crit > Haste > Vers > Mastery

 

We do see some people using Intellect > Haste > Mastery, which caters snipe healing. If this is something you would be interested in, know that receiving Innervates and Blessings of Wisdom helps this build a lot. In order for that to work, you need to be in a position in your guild to arrange for these cooldowns to be assigned to you.

 

 

The story behind the Crit-Vers build

While still mostly prioritizing higher item level pieces, players like Dunderz have found themselves primarily focusing their sights on crit, followed by versatility. He enjoys the play between higher levels of crit and the current 4 piece bonus, allowing him to do large amounts of raid healing in a more efficient manner.

 

The story behind the Mastery build

Mastery is our pride and nemesis at the same time. If there are few opportunities that let the mastery component of our class shine, it may reflect in your meter performance. It is not odd to see mastery shine in the first half of progress on a boss, and decrease in effectiveness as your group is learning to deal with the encounter. Especially on mythic, where many mechanics are supposed to kill you. A strong (well-geared) healer team in heroic can regularly get away with powering through mechanics, just by brute-forcing cooldowns. The reduced need of mastery during farm, is reflected in the tendency to prioritize other stats. Even though the interest in crit was quite prominent pre-progress, most cutting edge mythic progression seems to be rather mastery heavy. Hence, the mastery focussed build.

 

The story behind the Crit-Haste build

This set up will provide most raiders with what they are looking for – the ability to heal as quickly and efficiently as possible, no matter the target’s health. Most players that run this are not worried about their critical healing (countered by our mastery), that is the healing needed when a target is near death. Instead, they are looking to push their numbers in hopes of avoiding the need for extended periods of critical healing. You must also note that, with higher levels of haste, it is much easier to run yourself out of mana. Ensure you aren’t spamming chain heal when it isn’t necessary – cast a Lightning Bolt instead!

 

For more information about the role of each stat, read the following guest piece by Tim.

Hi, my name is Tim and I’m the healing officer/resto shaman in the US guild Capital Vices on Eredar. One of the most common questions topics on Earthshrine (shaman Discord server) is stats. Allow me to guide you through each of our stats: why they are good, why they are not good, and busting a few myths along the way.

 

So which stat is best?

The best way to start this off is by reminding everyone that: all of our stats are good! In fact, having more of all the stats makes them better. This is why you always see the MVP’s in Earthshrine talking about balance. If you spread your stats out, you get access to bigger multipliers and thus higher potential HPS (Healing per Second). The stats scale multiplicatively with each other following this formula:

 

For direct healing:
(Intellect * 1.05) * Spell coefficient * Mastery% * Crit% * Versatility%


For healing over time (HoT):

(Intellect * 1.05) * Spell coefficent * Mastery% * Crit% * Versatility% * Haste%

 

If you have a lot of crit and mastery, and very little of the other stats, you are missing out on the multiplicative effect. If you already reached 50% crit, you might benefit from picking up more of the other stats. This does not mean that the value of crit starts to experience diminishing returns. However, now that my crit is so high, I will see even more value per point of haste or versatility that I pick up. Opposed to just picking up more crit and continuing to strengthen only that one stat. That said, none of these changes are anywhere near as important as proper spell selection and play.  So without further delay, let’s do a deep dive into each stat!

 

Critical Strike

Certainly a fan favorite, and for good reason. Critical strike gives a chance for your spell casts to do double the healing, procs Queen Ascendant ánd returns some of the mana spent with Resurgence. Crit is powerful. However, there are things to consider as we start to acquire more of it. First of all, the amount of mana you gain from Resurgence as crit rises is not that much. Especially when you consider that we have 5% baseline crit and an additional 16% on Chain Heal from Floodwaters.  Moreover, having so much baseline crit on Chain Heal means that without stacking crit you are almost guaranteeing you will get a Queen Ascendant proc when you cast Chain Heal due to the fact that it has 5 chances (one chance per bounce). The bottom line is that crit is a great stat for throughput and definitely one that you want to gather. But overstacking it because you think that you are gaining Queen Ascendant uptime and mana regen from it is inaccurate.

 

Haste

A hot topic currently. Haste is easily forsaken as bad because “it makes you oom faster” or “who needs haste when you have Queen Ascendant?.” Although, in a lot of cases, you can read between the lines that the real argument seems to be “I don’t like haste because it is not crit or mastery.” In a narrow perspective, haste is our highest HPS stat, and it improves Queen Ascendant as follows:

How haste affects cast time (QA included):

cast time = cast time * (1 – QA reduction) / (haste percentage)

As you can see, this in no way devalues haste, especially because haste also increases the tick rates of your Healing Tide Totem, Riptide and Healing Stream Totem making it a highly desirable stat. It also scales faster than crit so if your crit is high and you have the ability to get an equal number of either haste will always net you a higher percentage.

 

Dorelei: “Haste is not a bad stat, but it is unforgiving. Like a lot of things in life, balance is good. A little bit of this, a little bit of that. The same applies to haste currently. In the learning process of mastering your shaman, you can find yourself overspending your mana. High haste can make mana management more volatile. This does not mean haste is a bad stat.”

 

Mastery

Everyone’s favorite! The progression golden boy! The stat that is “the best” and that you stack to the ceiling during progression for those moments where everyone is at 30% and you enter a state of divination (god mode). Unfortunately, due to the number of cooldowns in the average raid composition, and the damage patterns in Tomb, these situations happen less often and for a shorter duration. Mastery really shines on a fight like Cenarius, where the entire raid is low and taking constant damage for the whole fight. But in Tomb of Sargeras, it is not common to occur, and it allows you to focus on other stats as well. This stat should definitely not be ignored, but stacking to insanely high numbers doesn’t necessarily do you any significant favors.

 

Versatility

Most resto shamans place a negative connotation with versatility. It is a really boring stat because it is quite literally flat throughput and damage reduction. It’s basically mastery’s cousin that works all the time instead of at low health. The only major drawback of this stat is that takes more rating for a gain of one percent. As stated with the other stats, if you aren’t stacking one thing (significantly more than the other) it is not a concern. Personally, I like to get a lot of my versatility from jewelry because having it gives you an easy bonus.

 

Final words by Tym

Hopefully, you are now a ‘stats equality’ activist like myself. I want to thank Maeveycakes <Big Dumb Guild>, Sensations <HC>, Lytheia <Revive>, Canibehealz <Temerity>, and Gardiff <DNO Gaming> for your help and ideas.

If you have any questions for Tym, feel free to comment on this article. You can also get in touch with him on discord (Tym #0072) or on Battle Tag (Timmytomma#1399) [North America] or say hi to him on Twitch (Twitch.tv/Timmytomma).

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