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Elemental Shaman and the Haste vs Mastery wars

Rating: 2 votes, 3.50 average.
No doubt many of you are familiar with the endless back & forth going on over the weights for these two stats. At the start of Cataclysm the two stats were roughly even, and as we geared up haste pulled ahead, with mastery only starting to catch up towards the end of Firelands. Now, however, we're faced with a few converging factors which have basically thrown a spanner in the works for ever having a "simple" stat priority.

Firstly, there's the haste "break points". Normally for haste break points the value for haste drops once you get above it, but the reverse is true for Elemental. This is because haste scales better for our other spells vs Flame Shock, so increasing the duration of Flame Shock results in more other casts per Flame Shock refresh, and thus more damage overall. So that's where the haste bump for the break point comes from, and it does slightly increase Mastery as well, but only slightly vs the bigger jump for Haste.

The second point to consider is the tier 13 four piece bonus. The bonus 250 haste buff, stackable to 3, that procs on overloads (which are generated from mastery) gives mastery a boost, and as you increase mastery the boost gets better because you get longer uptimes on the buff (or a better chance of 2/3 stacks). This means that you'll see haste and mastery being fairly close, depending on your current gear levels and amounts of each stat.

The third influencing factor in the equation is Dragonwrath. Since it procs off both normal and overload spells it increases the value of both stats, but mastery gets a slight bonus (I think this is to do with the fact that mastery results in more additional spells per minute than haste, on a rating v rating basis, so it scales better). Of course, if you have both the tier 13 four piece and Dragonwrath, they can increase the value of master above that of haste.

For the rest of Cataclysm though, if you want to answer the question of haste vs mastery for yourself, the best answer is to visit www.simulationcraft.org to download their tool, and run it for yourself. If you have some time to spare, run a haste/mastery plot as well, which will show you how the values change over a +/- 200 point spread, so you can see roughly how each stat behaves as you add/subtract it.

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