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Enhancement's Love-Haste Relationship [update: aug. 11, 2012]

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
I've seen a lot of discussions floating around about how valuable haste is for enhancement in MoP, so I figured I'd dedicate a brief blog post to the subject.

Overall, I'd say that Blizzard was extremely successful in achieving its goal: improving the value of haste for enhancement without radically altering how the spec plays. For the purposes of this discussion, it's important to recognize that "haste" can be broken up into 3 categories, each with its own, distinct value for our spec: (1) haste rating, (2) active haste %, (3) passive haste %. I will be referencing the most recent pre-raid simulationcraft output currently on my guild's website throughout this post (seen here).

Haste Rating: 10/10
The value of haste rating is important because it affects how well our spec scales with gear upgrades. In Mists of Pandaria, Blizzard has altered our spec in a variety of ways to help improve the value of this stat. Most importantly, the Flurry buff increases the value of haste rating by 50% while active (as you can see by the ilvl 463 profiles linked above, Flurry uptime is very high (80%+) even in pre-raid gear). In addition to that, they've also significantly increased the percentage of our damage that scales with haste, and they managed to do it in such a way that actually lowered the proportion of our damage breakdown made up by passive auto-attacks and weapon procs (via strong DPS cooldowns; see ascendance, fire elemental, and feral spirit).

Active Haste %: 10/10
The value of active haste % is important because it directly affects how well our spec can respond to demands for controlled burst DPS in a raid environment. Although the Flurry buff doesn't extend to haste percentage effects (active or passive), that doesn't tend to be an issue for this category due to the presence of our other DPS cooldowns. Ascendance, Fire Elemental (regular or primal) and Feral Spirit scale very well with haste. If you look at the Elemental Mastery/Primal Elementalist profile of the simulationcraft output in the link above, you'll notice that the fire elemental has an active DPS of 35,661 (of which ~95% scales with haste), ascendance has an active DPS of 39,166 (of which ~74% scales with haste) and feral spirit has an active DPS of 9576 (of which ~56% scales with haste). These are significant figures when you take into consideration that the profile only does 62,874 dps on average over the course of a 6 to 9 minute-long fight. Consequently, Enhancement now benefits from haste % cooldowns such as heroism/bloodlust or elemental mastery very well, given the caveat that they should be used in combination with ascendance, fire elemental and/or feral spirit when possible (at the start of the fight for best results).

Passive Haste %: 7/10
The value of passive haste % is important because haste buffs seem to be Blizzard's preferred method of increasing encounter-specific DPS through gimmicks (in Cataclysm, at least, as seen on Sinestra (T11), Alysrazor (T12) and Madness of Deathwing (T13). Unlike the above two categories, passive haste percentage effects haven't been buffed in any way other than the increased proportion of our damage they now have to scale off of. There's no secondary effect, like the flurry buff for haste rating or synchronizing use with other cooldowns for active haste %, to make these effects optimal for enhancement. If you take the haste stat weight of the EM_PE profile in the link above and factor out the average flurry buff (1.17/1.4128), you'd get a stat weight of only 0.828 dps per point, or about 75% of mastery's value. That's still a significant improvement over the state of affairs in Cataclysm, but it's not enough to make a talent like Ancestral Swiftness attractive. As you can see in the link above, the AS profiles rank below the other level 60 talent choices (Elemental Mastery or Echo of the Elements) for any given level 90 talent pair.

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Updated 12-08-2012 at 12:53 AM by Purge



  1. Zulrin's Avatar
    Really interesting read, but imo when talking about haste-scaling it's always only about single-target. But isn't the biggest problem left with haste exactly that - aoe? Fire Nova and Magma don't scale with haste at all, Cl is limited by it's cd and Flameshock is only a rather minor portion of out dps. Thus mastery should still be far better than haste for aoe.
    So when going for haste aoe output should suffer compared to a mastery heavy build. With quite a few bosses having adds (Guardians, Garajal and Will of the Emperor alone in the Vaults). Wouldn't that make mastery the more attractive stat even in cases where haste is slightly better for single target?

    A different question is how dependant we are on stacking FE/Ascendance with our haste cds. Would UF be better than PE if we couldn't use FE with heroism? Would Echo be better than EM, when not able to use them together?
    This would become relevant on fights were heroism isn't used on the beginning, like maybe Feng. In my LFR runs it difinetly fell different when using hero at the beginning so I could combine it with FE or when we would use hero in the arcane phase.
  2. Purge's Avatar
    When spread to several targets, I don't think I'd describe the FS DoT as a "minor" portion of our dps. That said, haste is probably still the worst stat in an AOE environment. That doesn't mean it's a bad stat overall, though - you have to consider the amount of time you spend on a given encounter AOE'ing vs. the amount of time you spend attacking the boss, and you also have to decide which matters more - killing the boss quicker or killing the adds quicker. This will likely change on an encounter-by-encounter basis. Moreover, the difference we're talking about is probably fairly small. I imagine you'll only have to worry about reforging on an encounter-by-encounter basis if you're in a cutting-edge guild that's working on killing bosses before your gear level would normally allow you to.

    Haste cooldowns need to be synchronized with at least some of your other throughput cooldowns (FE, Ascendance, Feral Spirits) in order for you to derive substantial benefit from them. This is true even for UF. Yes, it derives more benefit from passive haste than the other level 90 talents, but the SimC profile I've generated for it still relies on synchronizing it's regular fire elemental (which is still very strong) with heroism (and EM, if spec'd).

    The fight type you mention (where heroism isn't used at the start of the fight) implies that the DPS you do over the course of the entire fight length is significantly less valuable than the DPS you can do in phase "X." In that case, it might also be beneficial for you to ensure that your other throughput cooldowns (fire elemental, ascendance, feral spirits, elemental mastery (if spec'd)) are available for this phase, even if it means you do less DPS over the course of the full encounter (because that dps doesn't matter, so long as you're not hitting an enrage timer - only ensuring that phase "x" ends as fast as possible matters).

    The best comparison I have for this would be demonology warlocks on heroic Ragnaros, who were forced to delay using their doomguards until phase 3 of the encounter, because beating the 3rd meteor spawn was more important than using 2 doomguards over the course of the fight (which would have otherwise been used in phase 1 (meaningless dps) and phase 4 (not entirely useless, but still way less valuable than using it to help beat the meteor timer).

    The fire elemental glyph might come in handy in these specific encounters, as its use should help you lose less total FE summons over the course of the fight. It's worth noting that, when you glyph FE and spec into PFE, using elemental mastery every 3 minutes instead of every 2 minutes is a DPS increase (basically, you're synchronizing it with every Ascendance use and Primal Fire Elemental summon).
    Updated 06-08-2012 at 08:42 PM by Purge
  3. Purge's Avatar
    Well, blizzard decided to come out of left field and deliver some sweeping shaman changes at the last minute.

    Consider this post out-of-date until we determine the full extent of the changes coming our way and how they impact our scaling when all is said and done. I'm predicting a net nerf to haste scaling based on what was posted so far.
  4. horitsu's Avatar
    hey purge, do you know if other pets such as spirit wolves and searing totem (and maybe magma totem) scale with haste??

    actually upon checking ur sim results, i believe spirit wolves do scale w/ haste... and searing totem doesn't scale w/ haste i think

    i hope you can update us w/ another sim results w/ the current changes to enhance shaman
    thanks for the data, its helpful...
    Updated 08-08-2012 at 08:35 AM by horitsu
  5. Purge's Avatar
    Updated the original post to take into account some of the changes. Overall, not much was affected other than the general DPS hit taken by all of the profiles. The new simulator output assumes that blizzard intended to nerf the entire Immolate spell for the primal fire elemental (only the direct damage was nerfed on the beta). If the beta behavior is intended rather than an oversight, then the PE profiles are about on-par or slightly ahead of the UF profiles.

    * EDIT: Spirit Wolf auto-attacks scale with haste. Searing and Magma totems don't scale with haste at all.
    Updated 16-08-2012 at 10:33 AM by Purge
  6. horitsu's Avatar
    does the updated results include the buff on spirit wolves??

    also i see that flametongue-oh deals 85-90% more damage compared to windfury-mh, dps wise... so FT/FT weapon imbue might be better compared to WF/FT weapon imbue... even if we consider that the "+7% magical damage" effect don't stack (i think) and the effects of unleash wind, it depends on how long the internal CD of flametongue is... this might be a good idea only if UF lvl90 talent is not used.
    Updated 15-08-2012 at 11:48 AM by horitsu
  7. Purge's Avatar
    Yes, although a big part of the spirit wolf buff doesn't scale with haste at all (spirit bite).
  8. horitsu's Avatar
    well, overall its fine, a buff is a buff
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